Using headshots and professional photographs is vital to attract the right type of clients to your business so how to do you ensure that you are conveying the right messages to your prospects?
For me, effective branding starts with the photos that you use to portray yourself on your website, business cards and any other social media or networking platform.
Here are a few tips on creating the right type of headshot:
- Natural lighting is key. Without it, your picture will come out looking dated, and possibly a lot more off-putting than it is helpful. In almost all cases, harsh lighting should be avoided, because it unnecessary highlights faults that wouldn't otherwise be visible. For example, the lighting that you use for your images should not bring attention to frown lines; instead, you want it to highlight the trust building features of your face, like your smile or eyes.
- Make sure that your eyes are clearly visible in the picture. Although it's a clichéd saying, your eyes do reveal so much about you. One of the primary benefits of having a clear shot of your eyes is that it makes your corporate branding come across as more authentic and trustworthy. People like to feel like they can trust you before they're willing to go out on a limb and purchase your product or services.
- Make sure that you take the time to dress for the part before you get your photograph taken, especially if you're trying to brand an online business. Branding largely relies on the trust that you build, and looking unkempt is one of the surest ways to do the exact opposite. For example, if you're a woman, then enhance your features with appropriately styled makeup or have your hair styled in a professional manner. Your photographer should use a quality set for all of your corporate branding images, so make sure you ask to see their photography portfolios ahead of time to ensure they're suited for the job.
- A prime example of corporate digital branding gone wrong is using sexy poses and clothing in your photo. You may end up scaring clients away – unless you are in the sex market of course! A sexy corporate branding image is an inappropriate representation of your business – if you don't believe that, let your customers do the talking.
- Ensure your personality is shining through. A good photographer should be able to capture this easily for you. If you do this correctly, you will successfully connect with your clients because you will come across as an authentic person – not just some face they recognize from the Internet. You'll know when you've achieved this level of authenticity by the way your clients interact with you, and the way they recommend you to other people.
To make sure you're getting started in the right direction, make sure you're using a professional photographer who is experienced in online photography. Although you may see this as a pricey expense, there is a huge difference between your friend's digital camera, and a professional photography set which includes the right lighting, makeup and overall atmosphere.